Vikings fans made the switch to digital tickets without any apparent glitches on Saturday.
The Vikings are one of six NFL teams to take only digital tickets via fans’ smartphones this year, but the rest of the league is expected to switch to all-digital in 2019.
Saturday’s preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium was the first time the new policy was enforced.
“I prefer them digital,” said 16-year-old Joey Powers of Edina, who waited outside one of the security lines at the stadium with his grandparents. “I don’t have to print it out.”
If using the Vikings’ mobile app, fans can also access real-time information about important details like road closures, gate backups and discounts.
“I don’t have a problem with it myself,” said Kent Lestrud of Princeton, Minn., who attended the game with his two sons. “Let’s say I get separated from one of my sons. I can send it to them and they can still get in.”
Lestrud, a season-ticket holder, said he started to take screenshot of his tickets on his cellphone last year. However, he said he could see how digital tickets may not be easy for everyone.
“If my parents were going to try to go to a game, they don’t even have smartphones,” he said.
The team began accepting mobile tickets in 2014. According to the Vikings, 35 percent of tickets presented at home games were electronic last year. Almost half of Vikings tickets are transferred between people.
The move to all-digital tickets is expected to help further prevent fraud and counterfeit tickets, said Jon Ekstrom, a spokesman for the Vikings. Electronic tickets are also easy to share since they can be e-mailed or texted to another user and can also make it quicker and easier to enter the stadium with a smartphone, he said.
The team said it would accommodate fans who don’t have smartphones.
On Saturday, fans appeared to be entering the stadium easily, with some stopping outside of security to download their tickets.
“I’m not very techie and it was pretty easy,” said David Pergande of Lake St. Croix Beach, Minn.
Pergande said he confronted a scalper outside the stadium who was waving around paper tickets, which Pergande on further inspection saw were actually for a Twins baseball game.
“I said, ‘Dude, I don’t think you can print them anymore,’ ” Pergande said with a laugh.
Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495